Longtime volunteer to accept award at annual breast cancer Survivor Luncheon
Susan G. Komen Western New York will honor the winners of its annual HOPE, FAITH and LOVE Awards on Saturday, Oct. 8, including Colleen Nossavage of Lewiston, who will be named the winner of Komen's LOVE Award. Nossavage will accept the LOVE Award at Komen WNY's 15th annual Survivor Luncheon, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
The LOVE Award is given annually to a volunteer who works tirelessly to advance the Komen mission and inspires others to do the same. Nossavage, station and community coordinator at WGRZ Channel 2, has participated and volunteered in the "WNY Race for the Cure" every year since the very first event in 2001.
With a long history of breast cancer in her family, Nossavage works each year to help promote the race and the Komen mission. She was a longtime member of the Komen board of directors and served as board president from 2011-13. She also served on the race committee, public policy committee, community engagement committee, PR committee and currently serves as chair of the grants committee.
Colleen and her husband, David, have four children, all of whom have participated and/or volunteered at the "Race for the Cure."
"My mother is a 23-year survivor and both of my grandmothers had breast cancer, along with my great aunt," Nossavage said. "But I know my risk and I have my annual screenings. I work hard for Komen, because I want everyone to know their risk and to get screened. Breast cancer does not have to take a life - early diagnosis and the best treatments equal survival."
Komen expects about 600 breast cancer survivors and co-survivors at its annual celebration. All survivors are treated to a complimentary lunch and gifts. Along with awards, the program includes a basket raffle.
Coach Felisha Legette-Jack, women's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo, is the keynote speaker.
Other awards at the luncheon, which begins at 11 a.m., include the HOPE award, which is given annually to a breast health or breast cancer professional who works toward improving the lives of breast cancer survivors or conducts research to find the cures. The 2016 HOPE Award will go to Dr. Saif Soniwala of Soniwala Hematology Oncology Associates in Williamsville, a Roswell Park Cancer Institute community care practice.
Kathy Kowal of Buffalo is the winner of the 2016 FAITH Award, given to a breast cancer survivor who advocates in the community for support, screening or treatment, and works to empower all women.
Kowal, a 15-year breast cancer survivor, has co-chaired the awards committee for the Komen "Race for the Cure" with her daughter, Jackie, for 10 years. She has been on the Survivor Luncheon committee since its beginning. Kowal is a 28-year employee of the Erie County Department of Health and has a son, two daughters, and three grandsons.
The luncheon begins at with a basket raffle and punch reception.
About Susan G. Komen Western New York
Susan G. Komen is the world's largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy's life.
Komen Western New York is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community. Through events like the Komen "WNY Race for the Cure," Komen WNY as invested more than $4.6 million in community breast health programs in the eight counties, and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. For more information, call 716-887-2646 or visit www.KomenWNY.org.